Nearly Half of Children With Autism Wander or 'Bolt' from Safe Places
The fear that overtakes a parent when a child wanders away from home or other safe place is easily compounded when that child has an autism-spectrum disorder. A new study shows that such behavior occurs more often than in other kids, and that the hazards can be significant.
In a sample of 1,200 children with autism, 49% had wandered, bolted or “eloped” at least once after age 4; 26% went missing long enough to cause their family concern. By comparison, only 13% of 1,076 siblings without autism had ever wandered off at or after age 4, developmentally the age when such behavior becomes less common, finds the study published today in Pediatrics. Among children with autism who went missing, 65% had close calls with traffic; 24% were in danger of drowning.
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